Denmark Apologizes for Abuses in Care Homes

    Denmark Apologizes for Abuses in Care Homes
    Last updated Sep 13, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • Danish Minister of Social Affairs Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil issued an apology on Monday for abuses carried out in state-run facilities, where thousands of children and adults with a wide range of disabilities were placed under "special care" between 1933 and 1980.
    • The admission of wrongoing under the Danish state, which reputedly failed in its duty of oversight, came in a meeting with a group of some 50 victims in the western city of Horsens.
    • Multiple abuses, including forced sterilizations and sexual assaults, were found to have taken place at the centers following an investigation ordered by the former Danish government in 2020.
    • The findings of that inquiry were published last year, revealing the extent of the transgressions and prompting many relatives of those affected to launch lawsuits against the government.
    • The official regretful acknowledgement, which had been expected at least since Rosenkrantz-Theil unofficially offered an apology in March this year, has no immediate effect on whether any compensation will be paid to the aggrieved.
    • One of the victims present at the event in Horsens, Hanne Klitgaard Larsen, reportedly stated that an apology is significant because it indicates that such abuses will not be tolerated in the future.


    Narrative A

    While an apology for one of the most disgusting chapters in Danish history won't change the past, the decision to take responsibility for these vile transgressions is a step in the right direction to ensure that the country will never forget the ill-treatment experienced by thousands of Danes in state-run facilities.

    Narrative B

    It's outrageous how long it took for the Danish state to finally issue an apology for the violence, sexual abuse, and forced castration carried out in care homes. Though the facilities were closed in 1980, it took 43 years and two national investigations for an official admission of misconduct to be made.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our newsletter!